Nicolas Cage Is Ready to Retire from Film: "I May Have Three or Four More Movies Left in Me"

He's plotting a switch to TV for the final stage of his career

Photo by Nicolas Genin

BY Ben OkazawaPublished Dec 5, 2023

Once you make a movie about a semi-fictional version of yourself, especially one as intentionally ridiculous as The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, I'd imagine everything else starts to feel somewhat mundane. That seems to ring true for Nicolas Cage, who has announced that his film career feels like it's approaching its conclusion. 

The iconic actor told Vanity Fair that he wants to mark the end of his career with new firsts, like stints on TV and special, carefully selected film projects as his final jobs. 

"I may have three or four more movies left in me," he said. "I do feel I've said what I've had to say with cinema ... I think I took film performance as far as I could." 

"I want to say bye on a high note," he continued. "I thought, 'Okay, my dad died at 75, I'm going to be turning 60.' If I'm lucky, I have maybe a good 15 years and hopefully more. What do I want to do with those 15 years, using my father as the model? It occurred very clearly to me that I want to spend time with my family."

In the late stages of his career, Cage has been taking on jobs that appease the artist in him. He most recently graced the screen at TIFF as dream walker Paul Matthews in Dream Scenario and lent himself to a cameo in The Flash — but its use of CGI to alter his scene is among the concerns he has about the evolving film industry

"I'm thinking a lot about what happens to my likeness when I pass on," he said. "I don't want, for example, Peter Loew (Vampire's Kiss) or Frank Pierce (Bringing Out the Dead) or Cameron Poe (Con Air) or any of these characters that I've created to be put into a computer that decides what to do with them. I am very concerned about how they would use my likeness." 

But, until then, he's looking for his next role. 

"I do want to get much more severe and stringent in my selection process ... but I want to look ahead. I want to see what's next," he said.

"Maybe it's time to look at the immersive streaming experience," he continued. "I don't know. I have to look for the next step and I haven't found it yet."

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